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March 20, 2020
PJM Compliance Filing on MOPR Rule

On December 19, 2019, FERC issued an Order directing PJM to expand its current Minimum Offer Price Rule (MOPR) to address state-subsidized electric generation resources, with certain exemptions. Petitions for Rehearing were filed by stakeholders in mid-January which have not yet been decided upon. PJM has submitted a compliance filing on the December 2019 Order. PJM's filing makes revisions to its OATT to modify the application of the MOPR to address state subsidies and their impact in the PJM capacity market. PJM's filing also includes a timetable for conducting the Base Residual Auction (BRA) for the 2022/2023 Delivery Year, as well as the BRAs for the following three Delivery Years.

PJM states that it will "await Commission action on this filing before implementing the modified MOPR in the next Base Residual Auction." PJM requested a minimum thirty five day comment period on the filing given the importance of the subject matter and the current circumstances. The full text of PJM's Compliance Filing is available on the NEM Website.

2019 State of the Markets Report

FERC Staff issued its annual State of the Markets Report to the Commission for 2019. The Report addresses market fundamentals for electric and natural gas as well as notable market events. With respect to market fundamentals, Staff observed that,

"Natural gas prices fell significantly from 2018 levels due to record-high natural gas production and relatively mild weather. Natural gas production outpaced gains on the demand side, both of which set new benchmarks. Capacity additions for both interstate natural gas pipelines and LNG liquefaction plants enabled greater natural gas volumes to be exported and furthered the United States’s position as a net exporter of natural gas. In the wholesale electric markets, prices also dropped in 2019 relative to 2018, largely due to a combination of lower natural gas prices, higher levels of renewables penetration, and steady electric demand. There were substantial increases in renewable generating capacity across the country, as well as continued battery and distributed energy resource additions."

Notable market events in 2019 included an abnormal October heat wave in PJM that led it to institute its first Performance Assessment Interval. A Canadian pipeline outage caused record high spot natural gas prices in the Pacific Northwest. However, the alleviation of storage and pipeline constraints resulted in average lower levels of Southern California spot natural gas prices than prior years. In addition, "[a]ctions by California public utilities, including power shut-offs and the de-energization of transmission lines aimed at reducing the risks of wildfire damage, did not have a significant effect on wholesale power markets in the West."

The full text of the 2019 State of the Markets Report is available on the NEM Website.

New Jersey
Click here to view all past updates.
Suspension of Door-to-Door Sales Activities

In response to the coronavirus emergency, the Board issued an Order suspending door-to-door sales activities. Specifically, "[a]ll door-to-door sales activity by third-party suppliers or other sales persons selling energy or energy related products (for example: residential solar, community solar, or energy efficiency offerings) are to be suspended immediately."

The Board's action follows similar actions taken by the Commissions in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Illinois and New York to halt such activities as reported separately by NEM. The full texts of all of these Emergency Orders are available on the NEM Website (zip file).

New York
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NEM Request for Further Extension of Retail Market Order

NEM filed a letter request with the Commission requesting a further extension for ESCO compliance with Ordering Clauses 1, 2, 5 and 6 of the Commission’s December 2019 Order Adopting Changes to the Retail Access Energy Market for a minimum of an additional ninety days. The Commission previously granted an extension to May 11, 2020, to comply with the requirements of Ordering Clauses 1, 2 and 5 and an extension to June 9, 2020, to comply with the requirements of Ordering Clause 6. NEM noted that significant uncertainty exists for ESCO compliance efforts in the absence of a Commission Order on the Petitions for Rehearing. When an Order is ultimately issued, ESCOs will have to assimilate the details of any new or modified requirements, develop compliant products, submit materials to Staff for approval, effectuate the transfer of customers to new products and satisfy financial assurance requirements. Accordingly, NEM requested that a meaningful transitional period for implementation of the extensive new regulatory regime be adopted. NEM also noted that the coronavirus emergency poses additional challenges for ESCO compliance. The full text of NEM's Letter Request is available on the NEM Website.

Commission Opens Proceeding on Strategic Use of Energy-Related Data

The Commission issued an order opening a proceeding on the strategic use of energy-related data. Noting that multiple proceedings have addressed this issue in the past, the Commission decided that a comprehensive approach in a unified proceeding would be preferable at this time. The proceeding will examine two issues, a data access policy framework and an integrated energy data resource.

"The establishment of a Data Access Framework that clearly defines the process for access, standardizes the necessary privacy, cybersecurity, and quality requirements for access to energy related data will ensure uniform treatment across various energy related data use cases. This framework will also include the development of metrics regarding quality and accuracy of energy related data." Staff is to prepare a data access policy framework white paper that includes proposals for: 1) standard definitions of key data related terms; 2) customer consent; 3) access to what types of data by whom; 4) privacy controls; 5) cybersecurity requirements; and, 6) data quality standards.

An integrated energy data resource (which appears to be synonymous with a centralized repository for energy related data) "should include both customer usage and system data, and should help to reduce DER supplier transaction costs associated with access to energy related data." Staff is to prepare a white paper on an integrated energy data resource that includes recommendations for stakeholder engagement, data resource design, data resource use cases, implementation, and operation.

Both Staff white papers are due sixty days from the date of the Order and will be issued for public comment. The full text of the Order Opening Proceeding is available on the NEM Website.

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